London’s “Gropers Gala” was a favorite of real estate industry

“Property definitely has a problem.”

New York /
Jan.January 25, 2018 09:10 AM

The Dorchester Hotel in London, where the Presidents Club Charity Dinner was hosted

London’s “Gropers Gala’ fundraiser, where members of the all-male guest list harassed female waitstaff, was heavily attended by real estate executives.

Real estate groups sponsored 10 of the 21 tables at the Presidents Club Charity Dinner last week according to the Financial Times, which on Tuesday published a shocking report on inappropriate activities at the club that had gone on in plain sight for years.

The charity fundraiser, where young women were groped, sexually harassed and propositioned, shut down following the news report after 33 years.

Of the more than 300 guests who attended the event, 39 have so far been identified as working in the real estate industry, and another 151 were guests of real estate companies.

“Property definitely has a problem,” an industry figure who did not want to be named told the newspaper.

“There are big characters, big egos. It’s all about money, it’s all about relationships, and it’s always been tycoons and megabucks,” he added. “It can all combust at times.”

In New York City, the real estate industry is coming to terms with institutionalized sexism and the way its female members are treated. Bawdy “bro culture” exists at many industry functions, such as the numerous parties hosted around the annual International Council of Shopping Centers expo in Las Vegas. And at the annual MIPM real estate conference in France, prostitutes are a regular sight at champaign-fueled yacht parties. Two year ago, the industry publication Estates Gazette called the event “not property’s finest hour.”

Back in London, however, at least one real estate figure pushed back on the criticism that’s been hurled at the President’s Club.

“I mean, the people who go, we can afford a girl if we want one,” the executive told the FT. “The ticket to the dinner costs £5,000 but if we spend £500 or £1,000 we can get a girl to come to our house if that’s what we wanted.

“These are not underage girls. They are all over 18. They know what they are doing,” he said. “They all know it’s a bit racy. There is free champagne. They can have a drink, they have fun.

“Do things happen after? God knows,” he added. “They can always complain to the police if so.” [FT]Rich Bockmann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Commercial property sales outpace pre-pandemic figures in Q2
Commercial property sales outpace pre-pandemic figures in Q2
Commercial property sales outpace pre-pandemic figures in Q2
David Grutman and Pharrell’s Goodtime Hotel had received nearly 30 noise violations (Carma Connected, Getty)
Party over? Pharrell’s Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach could lose entertainment permit
Party over? Pharrell’s Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach could lose entertainment permit
The Delta variant and the CDC’s recent mask reversal is adding a new element of intrigue to return-to-work policies. (iStock)
Covid surge, CDC reversal upends back-to-office plans
Covid surge, CDC reversal upends back-to-office plans
Loan surge at NYCB points to recovery of multifamily market
Loan surge at NYCB points to recovery of multifamily market
Loan surge at NYCB points to recovery of multifamily market
Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas (Thomas by Axel Dupeux, iStock)
Work-from-home threat “overstated,” Boston Properties CEO says
Work-from-home threat “overstated,” Boston Properties CEO says
Turner & Townsend CEO Vincent Clancy and CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic (Turner & Townsend, CBRE)
CBRE pays $1.3B for 60% stake in London-based project manager
CBRE pays $1.3B for 60% stake in London-based project manager
Proptech revolution grows as landlords turn to big data to manage properties
Proptech revolution grows as landlords turn to big data to manage properties
Proptech revolution grows as landlords turn to big data to manage properties
Lightstone Group CEO David Lichtenstein and 145 Bowery (Lightstone, Google Maps, Moxy Hotels)
Lightstone receives $130M construction loan for new Moxy hotel on LES
Lightstone receives $130M construction loan for new Moxy hotel on LES
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...